Alabama may have found its quarterback of the immediate future while losing a potential quarterback of the distant future in the same weekend.
Jake Coker, who was Florida State's second-string quarterback this past season behind Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston, has signed a scholarship to transfer to the Crimson Tide. The 6-foot-5, 230-pounder from Mobile was a redshirt sophomore this past season for the Seminoles but is on schedule to graduate after the spring semester.
"We think a lot of Jake, and we are excited to have him join our team," Alabama coach Nick Saban said Sunday in a release. "He is not only an outstanding football player, but he is also a fine young man who we feel will be a great fit with our program."
Coker, who visited Tuscaloosa this past weekend, will be eligible to play at Alabama during the 2014 season and will have two years of eligibility.
"I feel very comfortable with the coaches and the players," Coker said, "and I'm looking forward to getting started at Alabama and competing. I also want to thank my coaches and teammates at Florida State, because I had a great experience there."
Coker completed 18 of 36 passes for 250 yards and an interception in seven games this past season for the Seminoles but had his year cut short by a torn meniscus against Wake Forest. Florida State granted a release last week to Coker, who was Rivals.com's No. 18 pro-style quarterback in the 2011 class.
"I've never had anybody with his size who throws it as well as he does," FSU quarterbacks coach Randy Sanders recently told CBS. "Jameis has a very special arm, and this isn't any knock against Jameis, but Jake is probably the best I've seen in 25 years at throwing it."
Alabama's quarterback competition this summer for new offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin is scheduled to include Coker, Blake Sims, Alec Morris, Cooper Bateman, Parker McLeod and David Cornwell. Bateman and McLeod redshirted this past season after signing last winter, while Cornwell enrolled earlier this month.
Luke Del Rio, who signed last winter as a walk-on and worked his way to the third-stringer behind AJ McCarron and Sims, transferred earlier this month to Oregon State.
One quarterback who will not be among future Alabama competitions is Ricky Town, who is the nation's No. 1 quarterback in the 2015 class according to 247Sports.com and No. 2 according to Rivals.com. The 6-foot-4, 190-pounder from Ventura, Calif., announced Saturday that he was decommitting from Alabama and then hours later announced that he had committed to Southern Cal and new coach Steve Sarkisian.
"USC is where I want to be," Town told ESPN. "The coaches are upbeat, focused and committed to winning, and I completely believe in them."
Contact David Paschall at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6524.
David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...